I was sitting in the car, waiting for Jon to get his blood drawn when the image came to me.
I saw her very clearly. She was holding a long shield covering the left side of her body. Her right hand was up and a moth was flying from it. The shield was made of words.
I had just become aware of how powerful my words really are. How they protected me. They weren’t harsh words, or particularly smart or cunning words.
They were just the truth.
It was during an email with my brother I experienced this. At the time I was in therapy working on my fear of being drawn into my family’s dynamic, a system that no longer worked for me. I was having an email conversation with my brother, who I have very little contact with, when I felt the old fear rising up.
I knew how I was supposed to respond, the family script is deeply ingrained. But instead of doing what was expected, I responded in a way that was best for me. It was also during this time that I saw just how deep my fear was. That even though I didn’t understand it all, I felt it. And instead of making excuses for my brother and the way things were usuallyd done, or blaming myself, I trusted that feeling.
That’s when I knew that my words, my truth, could protect me.
So when I saw the image of the woman and the shield of words, I got it immediately. But I still wasn’t certain about the meaning of the moth.
Moths have recently visited me in my dreams, a few times in my studio this summer and had manifested in my art. So I knew it was an important part of the image. But no matter how many times I searched its meaning in books and online, the symbolism was still elusive to me.
Then my cousin, who I haven’t seen in years, but am in touch with on Facebook sent me a message she found about the meaning of moth. The next day, Donna, who reads my blog, sent me a link to the same site…
“Moth medicine’s meaning is resurrection and transformation. A moth represents tremendous change, but it also seeks the light. Thus, moth spiritual meaning is to trust the changes that are happening and that freedom and liberation are around the corner.”
For the first time, the moth made sense to me. Then I read further on World Birds and found….”The cocoon of a moth represents bindings and trap, but once it emerges, the adult moth seeks light and liberation. This is very much symbolic of a soul of man that is drawn to Knowledge and Ultimate Truth.”
If my words were my shield, my protection, the moth was my means of moving on. Moth represented letting go of the fear and moving into my new life more fully and the freedom that comes with that.
When I began making this piece my first idea was that it would be about 20×24 inches. But as I brought it into the real world, it needed to be bigger and bigger. And it was only after I stitched the woman’s face that I realized she resembled me.
Today I sewed a backing onto”Shield Of Words” with my signature stitched on it. I believe it’s sold, but if that doesn’t work out, I will be selling her and will let you all know.
You can see my whole process of making Shield of Words from the beginning here.